Special Southeast Asia correspondent/ Head of News, Malaysia
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Sep 26, 2014
via FaithWorld

Islamic State ‘brand’ gains ground among Asian Muslim militants

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(Filipino soldiers gather at a seized camp of Abu Sayyaf militants on Jolo island in southern Philippines September 21, 2009. REUTERS/Handout/Western Mindanao Command )

A threat by Philippine militants to kill a German hostage in a show of solidarity with Islamic State is the latest sign that the Middle East group’s brand of radicalism is winning recruits in Asia and posing a growing security risk in the region.

Sep 26, 2014

Islamic State ‘brand’ gains ground among Asian militants

MANILA (Reuters) – A threat by Philippine militants to kill a German hostage in a show of solidarity with Islamic State is the latest sign that the Middle East group’s brand of radicalism is winning recruits in Asia and posing a growing security risk in the region.

Over 100 people from Southeast Asia’s Muslim majority countries of Indonesia and Malaysia and the southern Philippine region are believed by security officials and analysts to have gone to join Islamic State’s fight in Iraq and Syria. Malaysian and Indonesian militants have discussed forming a 100-strong Malay-speaking unit within Islamic State in Syria, according to a report from a well-known security group released this week.

Sep 17, 2014
Sep 15, 2014

Islamic militant’s death sparks eulogies in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The death of a Malaysian Islamist in Syria has sparked an outpouring of eulogies on social media, including from his former political party, underlining sympathy for the militants’ cause that is creating a security headache for the government.

Lotfi Ariffin, a former activist in the Islamist PAS party that forms part of Malaysia’s opposition alliance, had attracted a large following on social media with regular posts of pictures, video and calls to jihad from the Syrian front line.

Sep 7, 2014

With sedition dragnet, Malaysia takes step back to Mahathir era

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian authorities are carrying out the broadest crackdown on the political opposition and social activists since the era of strongman leader Mahathir Mohamad, as traditionalists in the long-ruling ethnic Malay party appear to gain the upper hand.

The setback for civil liberties in the multi-ethnic former British colony, which had appeared set on a path of greater openness just two years ago, comes as democracy retreats across mainland Southeast Asia following a military coup in Thailand and fading reform hopes in Myanmar and Cambodia.

Sep 2, 2014

Malaysian law professor charged in crackdown on dissent

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian prosecutors charged a high-profile law professor with sedition on Tuesday for an opinion he voiced on a political crisis that occurred five years ago, extending a recent crackdown on dissent from opposition politicians to academia.

Lawyers said the charge against Azmi Sharom, a lecturer at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and who writes a regular newspaper column, could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech as the government wavers on its pledges to expand civil liberties.

Aug 21, 2014

Malaysian militants bought bomb material for planned attack: official

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Suspected Malaysian militants loyal to the extremist Islamic State movement bought bomb-making material ahead of a proposed attack on a Carlsberg brewery near the capital Kuala Lumpur, a top anti-terrorism official said.

The plan, which the official said was at a “discussion” stage, would be the first time Southeast Asian militants inspired by Islamic State’s rise have sought to launch a major attack at home, adding to officials’ fears of a domestic “blowback” from Islamic State’s expansion in Syria and Iraq.

Jul 14, 2014
via FaithWorld

In Malaysia, Islam’s legal advance divides families and nation

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(Deepa Subramaniam, 30, speaks during an interview in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur July 3, 2014. REUTERS/Samsul Said )

Deepa Subramaniam would not let go of her son, clinging to five-year-old Mithran’s leg even as the car into which he had been bundled began to accelerate.

Jul 14, 2014
Jul 13, 2014
    • About Stuart

      "I cover the politics, economics and people of Southeast Asia from Kuala Lumpur, where I also act as head of editorial for Malaysia and Brunei. I joined Reuters on the Singapore editing desk back in 1997 and have been on the move ever since, from Japan to the Philippines to the U.S.A and then Brazil."
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